NEW YORK (AP) When Zack Wheeler put the first two batters on in the second inning, he dialed it up with three strikeouts. When he saw how his pitch count was a bit high, he threw more to contact.
Either way, everything is starting to work for the rising star.
Wheeler struck out 10 in a gritty performance, Eric Campbell hit a three-run homer and the New York Mets beat the free-swinging Chicago Cubs 3-2 Friday night.
"When he gets you in certain situations, those guys, they don't know what's coming," said manager Terry Collins, complimenting Wheeler's assortment of pitches. "They just can't sit on one pitch."
Wheeler (8-8) threw a career-high 120 pitches in 6 2-3 innings, allowing two runs and four hits. He walked four and hit a batter but overpowered the Cubs in winning his fifth consecutive decision.
"The big thing is trying to keep my pitch count down and I really haven't been able to do that," Wheeler said when talking about going deeper in games.
The Cubs entered having struck out 77 times in their previous seven games, including 16 on Thursday in a loss to Milwaukee. Five of their first six outs Friday came by the K, and they fanned 14 times overall.